Osteoporosis is a common condition that mainly affects older women. It's characterized by a decrease in bone mass due to the decline in the female hormone estrogen.
The experts at Gundersen's Osteoporosis Clinic can:
- Help you prevent the condition if you're an at-risk individual
- Screen for underlying disease processes that can make you predisposed to osteoporosis
- Diagnose osteoporosis if you may be at-risk and educate you about osteoporosis, including management strategies
- Provide treatment, especially if you have a recent fractures
- Help you prevent recurrent fractures
Your first visit will include a complete medical history and a focused physical exam from a physician who specializes in osteoporosis. Appropriate tests may be ordered to determine if you have bone loss, the severity of the loss and potential causes of osteoporosis. Tests may include bone densitometry, blood or urine tests, and other X-rays, as appropriate.
Drug therapy may be started and we'll help educate you about osteoporosis. You may also be referred to Gundersen's Nutrition Therapy and/or Physical Therapy departments for help and care.
Treatment plans for osteoporosis generally include recommendations for:
- Optimizing calcium/Vitamin D intake through diet and/or supplements;
- Counseling about prevention of falls;
- Exercising to improve balance, muscle strength, etc.; and,
- Medications to help you maintain bone integrity and decrease the risk of fractures.
A follow-up consultation will be scheduled with your osteoporosis physician or primary care physician. Generally, bone densitometry is repeated in one to two years to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your treatment program.